T Nation

Flexibility

My understanding of flexibility is that it is greatly reduced as we age. With this in mind, how do you deal with this.

Contrary to popular opinion my personal experience is:

no stretching upto 37 years of age = regular visits to the chiropractor and numerous injuries

37 to 44 years of age and extensive static stretching (preworkout)= no visits to the chiropractor and very few if any injuries

44 to 45 years of age - no static stretch but preworkout dynamic stretching = regular visits to the chiropractor and numerous injuries

45 to 46 years of age - extensive preworkout and postworkout static stretching = no visits to the chiropractor and no injuries

I hope you are warming up prior to stretching. When I used to run alot I found that stretching after the run had the best effects.

A good book on flexibility is:

“Science of Flexibility” 3rd ed, by Michael J. Alter

Tall Tom - Yes, I do warm up prior to stretching. Also, I agree that stretching post workout is very effective as well.

I have not read the book you mention but I have considerable material from Ian King regarding stretching. In his flexibility video series he goes as far as to recommend holding static stretches for 5 minutes when the goal is to lengthen muscle. I’ve tried it and like the results

Honestly, stretching and flexibility is something I have completely overlooked in my training.

Thanks for the reminder. I gotta start.

rainjack - experiment with different types of stretching at different times. All our theories and opinions are great but I believe everyone responds differently to an approach. Experiment to find which approach addresses your particular issues & needs - and if you don’t have any physical issues or needs at this point you probably will as you continue to age.

Considering the inclusion of a dynamic flexibility routine before your training sessions may be something to look into as well. Besides acting as an extended warm=up, it can provide range of motion benefits, as well as “waking up” your nervous system.

Great Roundtable discussion on flexibility and stretching on T-Nation back in June of 04:

http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=464853&pageNo=0

[quote]Jimmy the Saint wrote:
Considering the inclusion of a dynamic flexibility routine before your training sessions may be something to look into as well. Besides acting as an extended warm=up, it can provide range of motion benefits, as well as “waking up” your nervous system.[/quote]

I tried a dynamic stretching routine (preworkout) for almost a year. It was the routine described by Eric Cressey at another website. My flexibility decreased and my injuries increased. I did not notice it “waking up” my nervous system.

However, I know many people highly recommend dynamic stretching so I sure it does have some value - it just did not work for me.

Could you send me the link for that dynamic flexibility program by Cressey? I would love to look over it and discuss what you liked and didn’t like about it, as well as why you actually lost range of motion after performing it for a year. Not trying to be pessimistic here, but sometimes reading an article is not enough to fully understand and refine the instructions put forth by an author. Just food for thought.

[quote]Jimmy the Saint wrote:
Could you send me the link for that dynamic flexibility program by Cressey? I would love to look over it and discuss what you liked and didn’t like about it, as well as why you actually lost range of motion after performing it for a year. Not trying to be pessimistic here, but sometimes reading an article is not enough to fully understand and refine the instructions put forth by an author. Just food for thought.[/quote]

Dynamic flexibility is a must. Robertson and Cressey have great programs. I find it really hard to believe you went backwards with injuries. I as well would like to know what you were doing and what injuries you did occur

[quote]Bearhawk wrote:
Jimmy the Saint wrote:
Could you send me the link for that dynamic flexibility program by Cressey? I would love to look over it and discuss what you liked and didn’t like about it, as well as why you actually lost range of motion after performing it for a year. Not trying to be pessimistic here, but sometimes reading an article is not enough to fully understand and refine the instructions put forth by an author. Just food for thought.

Dynamic flexibility is a must. Robertson and Cressey have great programs. I find it really hard to believe you went backwards with injuries. I as well would like to know what you were doing and what injuries you did occur[/quote]

Correction - the program/article was not by Eric Cressey. My dynamic flexibility program was based on a section of Mark Vestegeen’s (spelling?) book. The book is titled “Core Performance”, the chapter is Pre-movement Prep.

My activity at the time included a “modified Bulgarian” weight lifting routine as described by Christian Thibaudeau in his newsletter. This is where I experienced lower & mid back injuries.

I also noticed less “freedom of movement” & flexibility when playing tennis which I do periodically during the summer. Because I only play tennis during the summer it allows me to compare physical attributes (flexibility) from year to year